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The 4 month sleep progression

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

The term "sleep regression" gets a lot of attention online and most information around the term is incorrect. There is nothing that is regressing when your little one hits 4 months, quite the opposite is true.

4 months is a challenging age in the sleep department. Your little one is learning many new skills such as rolling, hand to mouth movements and tracking people around the room. They become much more sociable and can now interact with their caregivers. Feeds are becoming much more distracted during the day and many babies fear that their missing out on someting and would rather be awake than napping. They make up for any caloric defecit by feeding more at night and illness becomes more common with increasing exposure to germs and bacteria due to babies starting to put objects in their mouth. If you think we´re done here, sorry there is more...

WIthin the first 6 months of life your baby´s sleep cycle begins to mature, becoming more adult like. We do not know when it happens exactly but it can be common around 4 months of age

It´s no suprise, that all these massive new skills and changes affect sleep. Many professionals prefer the term sleep progression to highlight the fact that your little one is learning something new and that this developmental pase affects sleep in the short term.

For your little ones, this is an intense phase and they might seek more comfort from you during day and night and want to be held more. This can be hard on parents. Please seek support, reduce stressors wherever possible and let go of your To-Do List. It will get easier and NO you do not have to "teach" your little one to self settle in order for this phase to pass.

How can you support your little one through the 4 month sleep progression?

  • Give them lots of time to practice their new skills like tummy time, practicing rolling and plenty of social interaction between you and them

  • Babywearing! This gives them the security and closeness that they seek and yourself some free hands for other things to do

  • Introduce calming rituals that focus on connection, like a bedtime routine or short nap routine

  • Try to reduce distractions during feeding by nursing in a baby carrier, moving to a dark and quiet room or try a nursing necklace or toy they can focus on while feeding

  • Focus on self care and try to implement some time for yourself whenever possible. This will benefit both you and baby!

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